COVID-19: Return to racing planning

We are approaching the time when hopefully it looks like there should be some movement towards the sport getting back under way in some form.

It is the HWPA’s intention to keep you as informed as possible with what we understand is happening within our section of the racing world.

The HWPA has had initial discussions with the BHA and it is now possible to get a better idea of what is being planned. At the same time, things are not yet set in stone and are changing all the time.

What seems increasingly certain, however, is that in the early stages of racing returning behind closed doors under strict biosecurity measures access is going to be extremely limited.

Hopefully, this will open up a little as the sport shows it can operate to the satisfaction of Public Health England in the ensuing weeks but it is not yet possible to give a clear time line on how this will develop.

But as long as racing takes place behind closed doors the blunt reality of the situation is that not everyone who wants to go to the racecourse is going to be able to go.

The only way forward while this particularly tight situation exists looks like being a Pool System of Photographers and Journalists where we work together and share opportunities.

Those who have access to the racecourse will have to supply those who are not able to have access with the same pictures and copy they use.

How this will work is still being worked out and any questions should be submitted to the HWPA (hwpacontacts@gmail.com) or passed on to Committee member.

Some of representatives will be contacting members to work out the best way forward in the situation we find ourselves.

It is unlikely that any more information will emerge until early next week after the Government has revealed its plans to eased the lockdown.

It is, however, clear that media given access will be subject to the same biosecurity tests before attending a racecourse as participants and officials.

This is likely to include a screening test system which will be co-ordinated by the BHA and health questionnaires as well as temperature testing at the track.

Testing of people who visit multiple tracks will be continuous to ensure they are clear of COVID-19.

Anyone who has underlying health conditions or who lives with a family member or friend who is potentially vulnerable may have to consider whether it is wise to put themselves at risk.

The HWPA understands that there will be many members who are worried about the current situation and how it is going to unfold. This situation is not going to be easy.

But we intend to work as hard as we can to get as many media on track as possible.

We also pledge to keep you all informed of developments.    ; \�lV���Q